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Ind. GM plant blast kills 1, injures 5



Published: Wed, July 2, 2014 @ 12:00 a.m.

Associated Press

MARION, IND.

A chemical explosion Tuesday at a General Motors metal-stamping plant in Indiana killed a contractor and injured five other people, authorities said.

The blast killed James L. Gibson, 48, Grant County Coroner Stephen Dorsey said.

Marion General Hospital was treating five other people with nonlife-threatening injuries, hospital spokeswoman Ann Vermilion told the Marion Chronicle- Tribune. However, GM issued a statement saying four employees were under observation for nonlife-threatening conditions at the hospital and that four others were transported there, but required no treatment.

“The situation is contained. Everybody has been evacuated,” GM spokeswoman Stephanie Jentgen said.

The explosion involved a chlorine dioxide tank, and the chemical continued spilling out after the explosion, Marion Fire Chief Paul David said.

A hazardous-materials crew contained the spill, and firefighters were rinsing off the skin of everyone who may have come into contact with the chemical. If inhaled, the chemical can cause lung problems and can irritate the skin and eyes.

Marion Mayor Wayne Seybold went to the scene and talked with GM officials.

“This is heartbreaking for our community,” Seybold said.

The GM statement said third-shift employees were expected to report to work at their normal times.

“The safety of our employees is very important to us and an investigation of the incident is underway,” the statement said.


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